On December 9th we attended a beautiful Advent devotion at the Bishop's cathedral. Grandma Valerie had flown in several days before and we tried to fill the days with distractions as we all awaited your arrival. We sat at the cathedral and listened to a choir that sounded like angels sing the old Psalms and heard scriptures read about Christ's coming. That evening, almost all seemed right in the world.
After returning home from the Advent devotion, I couldn't fall asleep. It was after midnight and was now December 10th. I was uncomfortable and tossed and turned. I decided to get up and use the restroom for the hundredth time and felt warm fluid drip down my leg. I knew my bag of waters was leaking. The time was 1:30am I woke up your father who immediately jumped out of bed (rare for him) and started putting things together. With my last two births happening very quickly, we knew we had to move fast if we were going to make it to the hospital. I had one real contraction and Max insisted on calling our doula and doctor. I hesitated, thinking that it was crazy to call anyone after just ONE contraction. He had no intention of listening to me, made two phone calls and told me we were going. Through the next three contractions I quickly put on some mascara, threw a few last items in my bag and complained about how crazy it was to be leaving so early. Max shuffled me to the car and we were on our way.
I rode most of the way with my eyes closed, breathing through contractions which were getting more and more intense. What I did see was several stop signs passed by and a few red lights passed. Max knew more than I did how quickly we needed to get there. When we finally arrived I asked Max to please let me wait for our doula to arrive before we went in. With the next two contractions, I started to make pushing noises and we both knew we needed to start walking, without our doula, or this baby was going to be born in the car.
Once inside, I made a beeline for the bathroom. In my primal state, I wanted to be in a tiny room where no one could see me. Looking back, and Emergency Room bathroom probably wasn't the cleanest place to choose. I waited there until Max told me a wheelchair was ready for me. Generally, I would have rather walked to the labor and delivery unit, but I knew that if I attempted that walk I wouldn't make it to the 5th floor with a baby still inside me. I was wheeled up to labor and delivery while Max made small talk with the tech pushing me. This annoyed me to no end, but Max is always polite and amiable, no matter what situation we are in.
We arrived at triage and I breathed through another contraction leaning up against the wall. I thought back to the sign on my mirror at home with a quote by St. Rose de Lima, "Pain is never permanent" and found strength and comfort in that truth. A nurse asked me to lay in the bed and get strapped up to monitors. I told her there was no physical way I could possibly lay in a bed. She didn't like this very much and told me for the sake of my baby's health we needed to check on her. I asked where my doctor was and heard her say behind me, "I'm right here." Relief flooded me. She told the nurses I needed to be checked right away as I had precipitous labors. At this point my doula arrived. Again, relief flooded me. I was asked to get on the bed to be checked and instinctively got on the bed on my hands and knees. I thought in my mind, "Whatever needs to be done has to be done like this because I am not moving!" With the next contraction I could feel baby Miriam coming down. Dr. L. checked me and said I was complete and ready to push, which I already knew. With the next contraction I pushed while placing my hand where I could feel Miriam coming. As her head emerged, I was able to feel every inch of it and control my pushing. With one more contraction, at 2:41am, her tiny body slipped from mine and she was lifted to my chest. She was pink and tiny and beautiful. Everyone in the room was shocked at the short length of the labor; 70 minutes from the first contraction to a baby in hand.
Miriam, you are a joy to behold and sweetness incarnate. I wake every day excited to snuggle you and behold the ways in which you will grow. I love you sweet baby girl.
Alive not Dead: an Adventure through Life
6 years ago